Wanna know what nasty globs of bacteria are lurking in the crevices of your scrubs on a daily basis? What about the new antiseptic scrubs that claim to decrease contamination by using special fibers, textures, and nanoparticles.
Well, Duke University recently conducted a study and I doubt the results will shock any seasoned nurse. Your scrubs are gross! Well, that's the short story.
According to Duke medical, scrubs carry a host of dangerous disease-causing germs. Yes, even the antiseptic ones.
Molecular analysis has proven that antiseptic surgical scrubs may not be any better at decreasing contamination than standard hospital scrubs.
The study was lead by Dr. Deverick Anderson, associate professor of medicine. The scrubs were examined and cultured before and after the nurses' shift. The results revealed that scrubs can become infected with bacteria during the shift whether they're standard scrubs or the new antiseptic versions.
Anderson said “We were interested in this study because prior publications suggested that antiseptic-impregnated textiles and materials can decrease contamination, but evidence was not clear,”
40 nurses from Duke Medical Intensive Care Unit and Surgical Intensive Care agreed to participate in the study. The nurses were given three different types of scrubs to wear for three consecutive shifts to ascertain if antiseptic scrubs were more effective at fighting those nasty hospitals germs.
Unfortunately, the results showed that antiseptic scrubs didn't lead to decreased contamination of scrubs.
Anderson said “We believe there is growing evidence that the environment needs to be evaluated in these types of studies, and that hadn’t been done before."
During the study, there wasn't any nurse to patient transmission. 22 transmissions of the same bacteria, 6 from room to nurse, six from patient to nurse, and 10 from patient to room.
These results are worrisome considering the amount of contact nurses are required to have with their patients every day to provide adequate care.
According to Anderson, “We believe there is growing evidence that the environment needs to be evaluated in these types of studies, and that hadn’t been done before."
Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii were the two most common bacteria found on the clothing.
Anderson concluded that it's still vitally important to wash hands, especially between patients and wearing gloves, gowns, and masks, when necessary to minimize the spread of germs, especially in units where the patients are immunosuppressed.
“People contaminate their environment with their bacteria," Anderson wrote. "Hospital rooms are particularly prone to this because sick patients don’t move from beds often and we aren’t always able to clean them as well as we would like.”
So for those of you were eager to run out and spend extra money on new scrubs believing the hype that they will minimize germs, save your money, it's just another crazy marketing scheme.